Our Team is Passionate About Pizza - Here Are 10 Tips for Making It At Home

From crust to toppings...
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Few things are certain in life, except that pizza makes everything and anything better. Kelly and her fiancé have friendly pizza competitions where they each make individual-sized pies and challenge each other to who made the better one; Emily and Geoffrey make ample use of their pizza oven every summer; and one of Leslie's favorite mid-week meals is a simple shrimp pizza that takes fifteen minutes. Whether you're stopping by a local pizzeria or popping a pre-made one into the oven, pizza is guaranteed to make your dinner something to be savored. During a recent lunch discussion, we learned that we all have very specific tips for creating our own pizzas at home. Here are our ten best:

#1

I used to always make homemade dough until I realized I could buy it from the pizza shop around the corner. It's an affordable alternative (only $2!) and cuts down on time, all without sacrificing the taste. In a pinch, you can also buy Trader Joe's delicious dough which is (nearly) just as good. - Emily

#2

This shrimp pizza is my favorite pizza in the world—something about the combination of the sun-dried tomatoes, garlicky sauce, and shrimp is irresistible. Because the most time-intensive part of it is making the sauce, I take a tip from my mom and make it in doubled or quadrupled batches, then freeze single, pizza-sized portions of it. Once I have the sauce, it takes me about fifteen minutes (no joke) to make and serve this pizza, a huge reason it's on regular rotation in our apartment! - Leslie

#3

Obviously one of the things I miss most about New York is the pizza. There are two perfect pies in existence, and I try to eat both each time I visit: The Supreme from Rubirosa and the Bee Sting from Roberta's (which recently opened a location in LA, much to my excitement!). After I moved, I spent so much time complaining about craving them that I eventually realized I should at least attempt to recreate them at home. After some trial and error, I can honestly say they're really good. While they're not identical, the flavor profiles are so similar that I get a pang of nostalgia with each bite, and it's the closest I'll get to teleporting back to NYC. - Jess

#4

After first seeing pizza scissors at a restaurant in L.A. years ago, I quickly ditched my go-to pizza cutter for a pair of shears. They cut through crust so much faster than a knife or wheel and won't scratch your pans. - Emily

#5

I always buy a few specialty ingredients to top my pizza with. As delicious as the basics, like pepperoni and mozzarella, are, adding extras like sun-dried tomatoes, a really good goat cheese, or an egg can really push it over the edge. - Katie

#6

I like to add seasoning to my dough to make it more flavorful. My go-tos are Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder, although I imagine it'd be just as tasty with an herbed salt or red pepper flakes. - Lisa 

#7

I used to make homemade pizza in the oven, which totally works as long as you pre-bake the dough for around 5 minutes before adding your toppings (I hate underbaked crust!!). Now that I live somewhere with a grill, we make our pizza outside on a $10 pizza stone. If you like a crispy/slightly burnt pizza, it's a game-changer. It takes around 25-30 minutes but is totally worth it. - Kelly

#8

If the cheese is too wet, your crust will often absorb the moisture, making it soggy. If you like a crispy crust, low-moisture cheese is a savior. - Katie 

#9

The crust is, in my opinion, the hardest thing to get right when making pizza at home. Broiling your pizza instead of baking it gives it a charred, crunchy crust all while crisping up your toppings too. - Lisa

1

Basil olive oil is seriously the best flavor addition on top of any pizza. To make it, I combine 1 cup of basil leaves with 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil in a blender and purée until smooth. Then I heat the mixture for just under a minute and pour it through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the basil. Top your pizza with a drizzle or use it as a dipping sauce for your crust, as you would bread! The oil will last up to a week in your fridge as well! - Katie